I have long been a fan of food blogger Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen (and co-founder of Sweet Laurel). She creates the most inspiring, beautiful and delicious dishes. Early last year I featured Claire and Laurel of Sweet Laurel Bakery when they were on the Today show baking a gluten free carrot cake! That was the first time I learned of the talented duo and have been following them both since.
I was recently asked to interview Claire Thomas to talk about how she gets creative in the kitchen when cooking for her husband, son, their cat Mochi and dog Buster! Like many of you, I love being more creative in the kitchen when cooking for my family and spoiling my pets.
Last week prior to the interview I had a chance to check out Claire’s gorgeous Instagram, which is full of inspiration. Her cat Mochi is absolutely adorable, and loves sneaking garden roses just like my cat Lily.
It was so much fun chatting with Claire about what inspired her to start The Kitchy Kitchen, how she makes everyday meals more elegant, her son James who is eight months old, and how she makes delicious meals her cat Mochi will adore!
If you’re a big fan of The Kitchy Kitchen, looking for new ways to be creative in the kitchen or absolutely adore your pets, you are going to love this interview! Please scroll down to watch the video of our chat (and to see her gorgeous kitchen). I made sure to transcribe it for you as well.
Watch journalist and blogger, Candace Rose Anderson of the website Candie Anderson interview renowned food blogger, Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen!
The Inspiration Behind The Kitchy Kitchen
Candie Anderson: How and when did you decide to start The Kitchy Kitchen?
Claire Thomas: “Well, I started my blog about 10 years ago, so actually quite a while ago. For me, I was just very inspired by the food I grew up with. I grew up in Southern California, so I’m surrounded by really beautiful produce. I love my town and I love my state. I’m very lucky to be around such beautiful food and my mom was a great cook, so I just grew up around it.
For me, when I got out of college and started cooking for myself, I realized that simple delicious food was really what my passion was, so The Kitchy Kitchen is really about that. It’s about simple, delicious, beautiful looking food that is easy to put together. That is the key! The truth is, beautiful and delicious – if you have five hours, sure you can make almost anything beautiful and delicious. Making something fantastic in 30 minutes on a weeknight, that’s a whole different story.”
How To Be Inspired In The Kitchen Every Day
Candie Anderson: Do you have any tips on how to turn the everyday into something a bit more elegant?
Claire Thomas: “Well, I think for a lot of people, especially people like me, I’m a mom (a new mom) so I’m really busy. The idea to come up with a new recipe or test a new recipe, it can be very stressful because you don’t know if it’s going to work. But that means you’re doing something that can put you in a bit of a rut.
For me, I really love the idea of taking what you know and then doing a small twist on it to make it seem fresh and new. I actually have been doing this not just for my family, but also the furry part of the family – my cat, Mochi and my dog, Buster. I’ve also been applying the same idea to their food as well, so they get to eat beautiful delicious food that also has an interesting twist on it.”
How Claire Thomas Maintains Creativity
Candie Anderson: You’re so talented! Your blogs, social media channels and everything you feature is absolutely beautiful. How do you maintain your creativity?
Claire Thomas: “For me, it’s really about finding inspiration. The easiest way to find inspiration is just to eat. I really believe that, so I like going out into my community. I love going out to the farmers market. It’s springtime now, so farmers markets are popping up across the country.
Farmers are the best kept secret. You can go and buy their produce and ask them ‘how do you eat this?’ And they will tell you unexpected delicious ways that are always very simple. I get a lot of inspiration there.
I also love going to new restaurants and trying new food there and seeing how I can apply it at home. For instance, I’ll find a couple of ingredients that are delicious or a new way of serving something and I’ll apply it to a classic recipe that I have in my wheelhouse that I’m really confident about because now that I’m making food not just for me, but for my husband and my baby, I need to make sure that it’s a slam dunk every time. I don’t have as much freedom to experiment in the kitchen.”
Claire Thomas Talks Baby James and Pets
Candie Anderson: What’s life like with your adorable baby James and your pets, Mochi and Buster?
Claire Thomas: “It’s really sweet. James is eight months old now and he’s crawling and getting very interested in the pets. He loves petting them. Mochi is very obliging, she just lets him pet her even though it’s more of a handful than a pet, so he’s learning the word ‘gentle.’
At the dinner table we all eat together. My joke is that it’s the zoo because it’s not just my husband and I, but baby James and Buster trying to eat some of James’ scraps and then Mochi is on the table too.
I was just looking at Mochi the other day and realized that she was my first fur baby, she was my first pet. I thought oh, man, I really want to make sure that she feels loved and appreciated. I was really excited to come across the Purely Fancy Feast Filets. This just seems like a really great solution to what I was looking for.
In my own life I kind of found myself eating the same thing every day and tried to find new ways to mix it up. I thought, oh my gosh my pets must really feel that way since they really have the same thing every day.
With the filets, what’s great about them is they’re meant to be a complement to food. You just can flake them off and put them on her tray or you can serve it whole and she can snack on it. It’s been a great way to show Mochi how much I love her and it’s a great way of mixing it up.
I’ve been taking that same idea for the pets food as well as for my food too.”
I like to think Mochi is pretty fancy. She loves to eat fresh flowers (garden roses are her fave), and she’s always trying to steal bites of my Salmon Tartine. I’m teaming up with @FancyFeastCatFood to make the fanciest feast for #MyFancyCat— using Purely Fancy Feast Filets and cat grass to create a delicious taste experience for my little foodie. Full details on my blog! #sponsored
Mochi’s Love Of Garden Roses
Candie Anderson: You can just garnish it with garden roses, she’ll love that!
Claire Thomas: “Yeah, just put a few garden roses on it and she’ll nibble away.” (laughing)
Where You Can Find More Information
Candie Anderson: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Claire Thomas: “Absolutely. For more recipes from The Kitchy Kitchen, please check out TheKitchyKitchen.com. I have 10 years worth of recipes up there, so lots of fun delicious tips! Now that I have a little one in the family, it’s definitely very family-centric. Also, please check out FancyFeast.com/FiletYourWay for more information on Mochi’s favorite snack.”